Situation of Animal Feed Additives in the EU
For several years animal feed additives have been used, both to improve yields and to allow the use of raw materials, in reasonable quantities to promote good digestion.
This has obliged to several governments and economic areas to classify the numerous substances that can be used for the above mentioned uses. Both the EEUU and the UE have their own systems, though from different points of view, they coincide in many occasions in the main.
Regarding the EU, and consequently the feed crisis (we will have to study them from the beginning some day), as well as the prohibition of antimicrobials, elaborated a text called White Paper of Feed Security, which aimed to clarify the situation and by the way officialize an additive registration for all member countries.
This registry was created basing on European regulation (CE) 1831/2003, about additives in animal feed, entrusting to the European Commission with its elaboration, publication and maintenance. This registry was first published on November 7th 2005 and it usually contains existing products, through a list of categories and functional group of additives, apart from the necessary lists of abbreviations.
Broadly speaking, additive categories were divided in technologic, organoleptic, nutritional and animal husbandry additives. The most relevant additive category is the technologic one as they are preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, gelling agents, binders, substances for control of radionuclide contamination, anticaking agents, acidity regulators, additives for silage and denaturants. So, on one hand covers the possibility of action by nutritionists and on the other hand enables business in a wide sector.
Regarding the organoleptics, we can find dyes (for direct use in feed, coloration of animal origin feed or for fish and birds of ornamental use.
Nutritional additives include vitamins, pro-vitamins and other substances of similar effect, trace elements and compounds, urea and derivatives.
And finally, husbandry agriculture additives include digestives, intestinal flora stabilizers, positive substances for the environment and an unnamed fund, to accommodate those not classified.
The registry also contains information on all sorts of identification, categorization, dates, description, number, species to which it is intended, and others to use.
Please note that in this registry there is not any product which has not passed the required tests, after the reports by the European Agency of Feed Security and being discussed for the Animal Feed Committee.
Despite of that, additives are often being disputed, both for animal and human feed, especially when is known that conceding a registry number implies having a guarantee.
Depending on the dates of the first authorization and type of additive, there are some differences regarding the position in one or another table, which was used due to the rule 70/254 and other included in regulation 1831/2003.
The latest update of registry was held on April 22nd 2010, although it is possible that before this news is being published, another update will be done.
The reason is that those additives, which have a deadline for approval, could be in trouble if not taken any decision. Thus, immediacy is updated, to avoid causing damage to businesses and farmers.
It should be noted the addition, as noted above the group of additives lowering mycotoxin contamination by absorption, excretion or change the mode of action of mycotoxins. This group of additives, although not exclusively, represents a part of the elimination of undesirable contamination on the farm.
We should indicate that because of the prohibition of antibiotics coccidiostats to use as additives, there was a break in both the study of new molecules, subsequently mitigated in part, and the search for new substances that improve both the conversion rate and the possibility of using different raw materials or in different quantities to which had been using so far.
A breakthrough has permitted to use silage additives in the drinking water, which was impossible previously, but that could incorporate from the new definition of additives in the rule nº 11831/2003 already mentioned. Amino acids can also be incorporated in feed.
One of the consequences of updating the registry has been the position in which some additives have remained in certain conditions and economic circumstances. They have been stranded as "orphans" and they have not been submitted by anyone to re-evaluation, thus losing a part of the arsenal.
The incorporation of alternative products leads to a better understanding of the absorption of food, which as noted above, additives can cause it to reduce toxins, promoting digestion.
This situation forces us to follow closely the developments that are occurring in the market, which allows an improved digestibility and feed conversion, starting from gains in the genetic lines of our animals for slaughter.